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Topher1

Absurd height limits...

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This thread is really a question as to whether the situation in Aiken is similar to any other area cities...

Aiken has a height limit of 100 ft. throughout the entire county. This was recently raised from a crappy 50 ft. about 5 years ago. The thing is, the limit is not for aesthetic or aviation reasons... In fact, it's the lamest reason of all. It's because the county is too cheap to buy fire trucks that can reach higher than the current height limit.

While this theory does make sense, I wonder if every municipality uses this kind of safety precaution when determining height limits. Case in point: There are numerous tiny towns with buildings in the 5-12 story range. Look at rural PA; look at small Florida towns (Haine City, Deland); look at Randy Sandford's Alabama threads... There are some tiny, tiny towns in this country with decent midrise buildings. Yet in Aiken, the tallest you'll find downtown is 3 floors (the hospital and an industrial facility on the outskirts are 6 and 8 floors). Really, does Haines City, FL really have a firetruck that can put out fires in its 10 story Bible College?

My interest was renewed in Aiken's lack of height, when I saw the recent article about Florence's hospital expansion to like 12 floors?! It really makes me wonder if our "height limit" is just some NIMBY ploy when cities in much smaller urban areas can have significantly taller buildings than we can... So I'm really just wondering if there are any other towns in SC that can't build any tall buildings, even though the demand may be there?

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Come on, man, you have to mention my hometown when you are talking about this! :D Charleston has a VERY high demand for taller buildings, but there are an immense amount of NIMBY's who want Charleston (and not just the historic district, mind you) to remain the same and basically have a flat skyline with just churches and short, "stubby" buildings. Height limits are a way of life down there. Just about the entire DT and West Ashley area have height limits.

Things are improving. DT, a new hospital tower is being built for MUSC, and additional phases might go up to 20 stories. There has been a lot of talk of building up the area around the medical area surrounded by Lockwood Drive and Hagood Avenue. This includes relocating the fast food restaurants along US 17 on the eastern part of this area.

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Yeah Charleston's height limit is crappy, but it's for aesthetic reasons. I was wondering if it's a common situation for the Public Safety/Fire Department to inflict a height limit on a city, or if there's other unusual factors causing restrictions in other cities? It sounds like that could be happening with Greer's rediculous limit.

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The only place I know of for sure that hasn't been mentioned is Columbia. The Congaree Vista District (basicly between Asssembly St to the river) has special zoning that restricts the height of buildings to about 4-5 stories. I think the number is 100 ft, but don't hold me to that.

I bet Hilton Head has one too.

Myrtle Beach used to have one, and may still. I'm not sure on this one.

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Brad is that because of the airport?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No, I doubt it, they have a totally different set of rules in the environs area, it limits any development that would brings lots of people to one location, as well as housing.

I think it is really just antiquated. If any body wanted to build taller, I am pretty sure it would not be a problem getting it turned over. Also, now that I think of it, that might just be for the historic downtown area.

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Pinehurst has height restrictions for new housing construction among other strict town ordiances. You even have to ask the village for permission to paint your house. Or cut down a tree in your yard. The possibilities are endless!

Its not because the US open is coming in June, its been this way since i was a kid!

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